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A Brief History of A&C – Saugus (North Boston)

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013

Posted By Larry Adlerstein

A Brief History of Artist & Craftsman Supply



Saugus, MA, established 2010

By Larry Adlerstein, Founder & President of A&C

 

Saugus, Mass, an unlikely place for an art supply, an unlikely place for artists….

 

Route 1 is Saugus, Mass. At the North end of this 10 mile strip of shopping strips and traffic lights is I95 which feeds this congestion. To the South you have your choice of I93 to the resort island of Cape Cod, or the Mass Turnpike.

 

Route 1 Saugus is the cheese in this unattractive sandwich.

 

But there is so much traffic there has got to be a few artists somewhere. And lucky for us, there are a few.

 

No, actually the store is doing well. Artist & Craftsman has developed into a family centered selection, so in Saugus, Mass we sell toys and crafts while in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, the product mix is more serious and professional.

 

But regardless of the particulars, the products mix and the theory of business are constant. If we can attract part of the family or provide a constructive environment, sooner or later the rest of the family will come along.

 

On Route 1 Saugus our first customers were the children. Now their parents are coming along….

 

 


 

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A Brief History of A&C – Baltimore

Thursday, Aug 01, 2013

Posted By Larry Adlerstein

A Brief History of Artist & Craftsman Supply



Baltimore, MD, established 2008

By Larry Adlerstein, Founder & President of A&C

 

 

 

Even though my father was an architect and my brother is presently an architect, I didn’t follow family inclinations and instead I went to law school. But maybe that architectural interest did also affect me. Especially in Baltimore.

 

Baltimore is an old historic city and the Maryland Institute College of Art is in what was then one of the more run down parts of the inner city. We, as an art supplier, wanted a location as close to that big art educator as possible.

 

There was an old warehouse near MICA but being an 80-100 year old warehouse the exterior walls were mostly broken glass windows set in rusted iron casing—the kind you open and close with hand cranks. I could see Artist & Craftsman going broke cooling the old monster in those muggy Maryland summer days.

 

So the architect gene sprang into action.

 

First I replaced broken glass with new clear rigid plastic. Then inside the glass/plastic exterior I put 1½” plastic Blue Board rigid insulation.

 

Then to isolate the plastic insulation from the interior occupied space, as required by building code, I put up 5/8 fire code sheet rock and we held it all together with 2x4s bolted to the brick of the old building.

 

I called Rob, my Philly manager, to come to Baltimore to paint and we had at it. An energy efficient art supply in a relic of an old building. 

 


 

0 Comments | Posted in Notes From Larry

A Brief History of A&C – Philadelphia

Friday, Jul 26, 2013

Posted By Larry Adlerstein

A Brief History of Artist & Craftsman Supply



Philadelphia, PA, established 2007

By Larry Adlerstein, Founder & President of A&C

 

Rob

Rob

Philadelphia Store Manager & Northeast Manager.

”Over 10 years on the job at A&C and

I enjoy it now more than ever.

These people, the employees, and

our customers, are like a big family to me.

It’s been a pleasure getting to know all of them.”

Our Philly story is simple. Rob, our Cambridge manager, complained to me about housing costs in Boston. He said his wife, Jamie, wanted to start a family.

 

“Ok Rob, where do you want to move?”

 

Rob had visited Philly. Lots of people from New York & Boston were moving to the city of brotherly love. So we went to Philly, Rob to find his new home and me to open another Art Supply.

 

Rob’s family has grown and I’ve gotten six years older.

 


 

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A Brief History of A&C – Cambridge

Friday, Jul 26, 2013

Posted By Larry Adlerstein

A Brief History of Artist & Craftsman Supply

 

 

Cambridge, MA, established 2003

By Larry Adlerstein, Founder & President of A&C

 

In the fall of 2003 I decided to look closer to home for store sites. Boston was an obvious look at.

 

So I drove the two hours down to Boston and started by visiting Pearl Paint—the big guy at the time. Pearl was located in Central Square, Cambridge, across the Charles River from downtown Boston.

 

In retrospect, Pearl had already started their decline that has, at this date, resulted in bankruptcy and the closing of most stores, including their Cambridge location.

 

Well, after our brief survey of Pearl back in 2003 I decided to open in Cambridge and there, right across the street, was a for-rent sign.

 

It was a basement which has served us well for many years. Generally our relationship with our neighbor Pearl went well until on a Saturday morning there was a commercially printed sign posted across our front entrance.

 

“Vagrants welcome, plenty of toilet paper downstairs.”

 

Robert Pearlmutter personally wrote me a letter of apology.

 

 


 

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